Assessing Your Heart Health

No matter your age, it’s always a good idea to understand how your heart works. Take a few minutes during your next yearly exam to ask the nurse what your blood pressure and pulse are, and use those numbers as your baseline any time you check your vital signs at home in the future. Medicomp’s wearable cardiac monitors give short- and long-term data throughout the day to help you recognize the signs of heart problems.

Blood Pressure
This reading measures how much pressure is within your blood vessels. Imagine blowing air into a balloon, then letting it out. The amount of air in the balloon when it was fullest is equivalent to the systolic pressure of your heart (the bigger number listed first). The amount of air remaining when you let the air out is equivalent to the diastolic pressure (the smaller number listed second). In other words, if your blood pressure is 120/75, you have 120 mm Hg (millimeters Mercury) of pressure on the inside of your blood vessels as the blood is pushed through, followed closely by 75 mm Hg of pressure on the inside of your blood vessels as they rest between filling again. The higher the systolic pressure, the more force that is exerted on the inside of your blood vessels, and the more dangerous it is because the vessels can rupture. Blood pressure should be checked at every visit.

An accurate cholesterol reading includes both a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) reading as well as a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) reading. LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol that usually points to coronary artery disease (CAD). LDL molecules tend to bind to other LDL molecules and adhere to the walls of your arteries. The buildup of LDL cholesterol causes the arteries to narrow and blood either barely seeps through or is blocked from entering. Tissue beyond the buildup will die if it is not oxygenated. If the tissue happens to be in the heart, it is called a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. Cholesterol should be checked every four to six years if you do not have a history of heart problems.

Blood Glucose Levels
Glucose is a simple sugar broken down from either carbohydrates or more complex sugars. After you eat a meal high in carbohydrates or sugars, your blood glucose levels rise. If you eat a diet rich in sugars and carbs, your blood glucose levels remain elevated, and diabetes mellitus can develop. Diabetes can often be controlled with a change in diet and a less sedentary lifestyle. Medications will be prescribed as a last resort. Blood glucose levels should be checked every three years unless you have diabetes or any other heart problems.

Check your heart health regularly, and report to your physician anything that seems or feels “wrong.” Request a Medicomp wearable cardiac monitor if you believe your heart is not beating properly. Call Medicomp at 800-23-HEART or contact us online for more information pertaining to heart health.

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